I am discarded like a piece of stale flesh. I am not a piece of flesh, I am female foetus. I wish I could ask my parents if they can imagine a life without a mother, sister, wife and their female friends. But how can I when I am killed even before I am born?
When I make it out of my mother’s womb and feel the warmth of sunlight, I feel lucky. How would I know that I will be killed even before I open my eyes? I am not an animal for sacrifice, I am a girl child. I feel animals for sacrifice are luckier because they are at least respected for their sacrifice. On the other hand I am blamed for bringing bad luck to my parents while it was them who brought me into this world.
When I grow to be 5 years old, I see boys of my age going to school but I am at home helping my mother who has also not been to school. I grow up to see my younger brothers go to school. I wash their clothes, pack their lunch, do all the household work and wait for them to get back from school wishing I could go to school as well. I know my dream will never come true when my drunk father comes home to beat me up for bringing him bad luck and being a burden. I am raped by cruel male beasts, sometimes my own father. Sometimes I am orphaned because my parents feel I am a burden. Even before I know anything about the world, I am sold out in marriage to older men whose slave I become for the rest of my life. Sometimes I am sold out to brothels where I am harassed and raped. I deserve to grow, I deserve to be in love and so do I deserve to choose the man I want to be with. I am not a used radio or tv, I am a girl child. No one treats me like one but I am a child too – a girl child.
Sometimes I go to school and have caring parents. I feel lucky and study hard to stand on my own feet and live with dignity. How would I know that this would make life more difficult for me?
- I go to college and make friends. Having male friends makes me a bitch.
- When a guy has a lot of girl friends he is a MAN. When I have more than one boy friend I am slut.
- When I reject a proposal I am harassed, mentally and physically. Nude pics of mine (Only god knows when I posed for any) get into the internet. I am attacked with acid. Sometimes I am even killed in broad day light. When I sense danger and go to police for help, they say it is very common these days, just ignore and it will be fine. I didn’t know it is common to be harassed and killed for rejecting a proposal.
- When I get married I am harassed for dowry. I am not a wife but bonded labour. I am beaten up, harassed and suffocated to death. The ways I am killed only get more creative by the day. I am a faithful slave only I pay to be one. While I wish that at least my mother in law (sometimes even mother) understands what it is to be a woman, she only seems to make things worse for me. I am expected to be a remote-controlled tv – you can watch the channel you wish. They beat me up for nothing and I silently cry and the very next moment I am supposed to be in bed to satisfy their beastly pleasures. Do you know how it feels to be raped by your own husband?
- I go out alone and I am raped by the male beasts. They say the fault is mine. Even the police who are supposed to protect me harass me with piercing questions and declare the fault is mine. I am either out at the wrong time, alone or provocatively dressed. Everything is MY fault. What do you think? I go out to be raped?
- I have a man accompany me when ever I go out because the roads are no longer safe for me. They beat him up and rape me in a moving bus. They rape me while I am unconscious and they dump my body on the road. What did I do wrong this time? I was neither provocatively dressed nor alone. All I did was get into a bus on a crowded road that I wished would get me home.
- I fight with death and want to live again. But I am an untouchable because I am raped. It is a sin to talk to me (sometimes even to look at me), it is a sin to have me at work, it is a sin to marry me. All the world wants to tell me is – You better die than live, You don’t deserve to live, You have been raped. While the beasts that committed the crime roam around as heroes, yes! it is manly to commit a rape, I become an untouchable and a sinner.
I am a WOMAN and this in brief is the story of my life. I can go on narrating and it would never end. It is a pity that my story is so full of tragedy. The situation is similar all around the world. In India (where I stay) it is only getting worse with each passing day. But who do I point a finger at for causing this situation? Myself? Men? Society? God?
I believe God created man and woman with the same love and care. It is we, the people, who created the differences. I believe each one of us in our own capacities is responsible for this state of affairs. The solution lies within each of us. It is only when we assume individual and collective responsibility to prevent such incidents and stand up for the right things will we see a change in the world around us.
This how I see various components of the Nation being involved to make it a place where women are respected and can live with dignity.
- Me (A Woman): I must stand up for myself. Most of the crime goes unnoticed because I stay silent. Most cases of stalking, mental or physical harassment, rape are not even reported. I must stop being just a piece of flesh and fight for my rights. I must fight for justice and spread awareness among other women. Change must start from ME.
- Women: More often than not I hear women spreading rumours about other women. We add spice to rumours as conveniently as we add spice to our food. Please remember that the woman you are talking about is just another woman like you. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment and you will know what she is going through. Respect her dignity. If you cannot help her at least do not cause harm. And if you can be of some help, be there to support your friends or relatives who are victims of crime fight for justice rather than encouraging them to remain silent about it. It is only when we respect each others dignity and fight together will we get the justice we need in a male dominated society. That we are weaker than men is only what we tell ourselves. We are not! Together we must rise!
- Men: An unbelievable fact is that is that a huge percentage of the men committing crimes against women belong to the educated and working class of the society. And well, I don’t think they deserve to be called ‘educated’. This is a real shame. Please try to be real men – Men of dignity and honour. Help the women around you live in dignity and fight for their rights. When you find your friends or relatives disrespecting or misbehaving with women put a check to it rather than over looking it as fun or being silent about it.
- The society at large: Please try to be responsible citizens. It is real shame that culprits of crime against women dare to get along with the society without trouble while innocent victims of the crime become out-castes. Stop overlooking the crimes committed by your own brother, husbands, friends or fathers. Let us put our heads and hearts straight. Let us advocate for the right things. Well coming to right things, most of us are so busy with our own lives that we are ignorant about whats happening around us and even if we somehow come to know we don’t care. Stop being ignorant and silent because it is not about you, there is good chance that someday it might be your own sister, daughter, wife, friend, mother or yourself (if you are a woman) who is the victim of the crime. Many drops make an ocean and it is small packets of change that lead to a revolution. Even the smallest of change will contribute to the larger picture. Do whatever little you can but please don’t stay ignorant and silent.
- Educators: Please try to impart education focused on values and ethics rather than knowledge and skills. Children spend a huge amount of their time with you and most importantly they trust you. You play a very important role in shaping lives and making of the society. Of what use are knowledge and skills that cause nothing but harm?
- Police, Judiciary and Law Makers: The country is going to the dogs and it’s really time that we act. The rate of crime is increasing by the day because there is no fear of punishment. Please make concrete laws without loop holes that serve genuine victims rather than being avenues that educated miscreants can exploit. Please stop escaping from responsibility by blaming it on the girls. Please take it seriously when a complaint is lodged rather than advising the girls to ignore and stay silent about it. Act responsible to your positions. Women are afraid of lodging complaints because it only adds to the harassment rather than providing justice. A lot of crime can be prevented if the reported cases are acted upon and culprits start fearing punishment for their actions. Enforce laws strictly. We have seen enough of negligence and laziness on your part. Please stand up to your responsibilities.
- Politicians and Political parties: Not all but most of you – All you do is talk about the crime in tv shows when things go out of hand and when there is a spark of rage and anger in the society. Even that is done to keep your vote bank safe. Giving money to the family will not undo the crime. Please take steps to stop crime. We vested power with you because we trusted you will take care of us and not let the country go to dogs. Use the power to help the people of the country rather than keeping your power in place and increasing your bank balance. Stop shedding crocodile tears and if there is a bit of humanity left in you act for the people of this Nation.
- News Media: I cannot say in words the amount of responsibility you hold in this regard. Whenever there is new ‘story’ (yes! tragedy in someone’s life is just another interesting story which increases viewership of the channel/paper) the media goes about talking a lot about what happened and how the officials and government are not playing their roles properly. But what is the media doing to help the situation? The media needs to follow-up the case to ensure justice. The media has to push the concerned officials to provide justice to the victims. The media needs to take necessary steps to continuously spread awareness among the citizens on women’s rights and empower women by being their voice. Stay unbiased and stay true to the essence of media.
- Entertainment Media: There cannot be a movie/serial without rape scenes, molestation, eve teasing and item songs. Right? And one very simple answer you have got: Its not a commercial hit otherwise. And men in movies get away with all the non sense they do. Because the HERO is god..nothing can happen to him..Well, it is not so in real life and a lot of your viewers fail to realize that. Do you not realize the amount of influence you have on the mindsets of people? Are the movies you make really something you would like your kids to be inspired from? Please stop objectifying women. Women are not pieces of ‘Tandoori Chicken’ (With reference to the lyrics of a song form a Bollywood movie).
I know I talked a lot in this post and I also know that just like every other time this time too it’s going to be another story that will not be talked about after a couple of days. But I did not want to remain silent again. So here I go. Hoping that this post will make people look inside and make a few people act.
- Delhi girl critical after gang rape in a moving bus – Hindustan Times
- From the Delhi Police: Six reasons why women deserve to be raped
- I can’t get her out of my head – Kalki Koechin
- Rape and the crisis of Indian Masculinity – The Hindu
- You have to live with your violated body. You have to live with the memory of what was done to you – Tehelka.com
- Why Indian men rape – TOI Blog